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March 2, 2006

Microsoft says EU regulators colluded with competitors

Posted by David Hunter at 11:06 AM ET.

The Microsoft European Union antitrust proceedings are shaping up to be as exciting as a prominent criminal trial as Aoife White reports at the AP:

Microsoft Corp. filed a formal complaint with EU antitrust regulators Thursday, alleging that the European Commission withheld documents and secretly colluded with rival companies shortly before the EU charged that Microsoft had not obeyed an earlier ruling.

In Thursday’s complaint, Microsoft said it believes EU officials had “inappropriate” contacts with (the independent monitor, Professor) Barrett and rival firms Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM Corp., Oracle Corp. and Novell Inc.

“While the documents provided do not include the direct correspondence between the Commission and its technical experts, they show that the Commission, the trustee, and Microsoft’s adversaries were secretly collaborating throughout the fall of 2005 in a manner inconsistent with the Commission’s role as neutral regulator and the Trustee’s role as independent monitor,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s associate general counsel in Europe.

“These contacts call into question whether the reports … are really independent, impartial assessments of Microsoft’s technical documentation, or instead are argumentative tracts developed for the Commission with the assistance of Microsoft’s competitors,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from the European Commission. Looks like another appeal to public opinion and the EU member governments over the head of the EC.

Filed under Antitrust, Coopetition, General Business, Governmental Relations, IBM, Legal, Novell, Oracle, Sun

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3 Responses to “Microsoft says EU regulators colluded with competitors”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » EU says Microsoft on double secret probation Says:

    [...] The Microsoft antitrust fight with the European Commission is yielding a wealth of entertainment. The AP story I linked earlier today has just been updated: Microsoft Corp. will be fined if it keeps up its current conduct, the EU’s antitrust chief warned Thursday after the company accused the EU of withholding documents and colluding with Microsoft’s rivals before filing charges last December. [...]

  2. Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft asks US court for rivals’ docs in EU case Says:

    [...] Yesterday’s twists ([1], [2]) in the Microsoft European Union antitrust case were exciting, but there’s a topper today – Microsoft asks US courts to intervene in EU case: Microsoft Corp said on Friday it had asked U.S. Federal courts to force IBM, Sun Microsystems Inc, Oracle Corp and Novell Inc to give it documents in its battle against the European Commission. … Microsoft, citing a law that allows U.S. courts to order companies to turn over evidence for use in foreign and international tribunals, said it had filed papers in San Jose, California, New York and Boston. [...]

  3. Microsoft tries to placate EU with free tech support -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Things sound rather more friendly than earlier this month when Microsoft was bashing the independent trustee and accusing the European Commission of collusion with competitors. Filed under Legal, Governmental Relations, General Business, Antitrust, Microsoft Listen to this article   [Permalink] [...]

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